MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images; Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
- McConnell pushed back on the idea that he got "played" on the Democratic agenda.
- The Kentucky Republican told Fox News there was "nothing we could do" to keep Dems from striking a deal.
- McConnell had threatened to hold up a bill the Senate passed only hours before the deal was announced.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the idea that he was "played" by Democrats when they struck a surprise deal on a $740 billion climate, health and tax bill last week.
"There's nothing we could've done to prevent the Democrats from doing a bill that only they will vote for, so it's not a question of being played here," the Kentucky Republican told Fox News.
"What's the storyline here is that Sen. Manchin has agreed to something that he had said publicly and privately over the last two weeks he could never agree to," McConnell said.
Manchin announced last week that he struck a deal on a larger package than most Democrats thought was possible after he withdrew from talks with Schumer last month. It included tax increases and climate programs that Manchin previously had taken off the table.
McConnell had threatened to hold up a measure to strengthen the domestic semiconductor industry if Democrats revived Biden's agenda, but he backed down when it appeared talks between Manchin and Schumer collapsed in mid-July. The CHIPS bill passed the Senate on July 27, and only hours later, Manchin announced the new spending deal.
Manchin and Schumer managed to resuscitate many parts of Democrats' domestic agenda on prescription drug prices, extended Obamacare premium subsidies, climate and energy spending, and tweaks to the tax code. McConnell quickly lambasted it.
Democrats seek to pass the Manchin and Schumer legislation strictly along party lines using the budget reconciliation process, allowing them to skirt unanimous GOP resistance. Republicans argue that the legislation amounts to a hefty tax increase on most American families.
Democrats aim to pass it this week, though party leaders haven't clinched Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's vote yet. Without her vote, Senate Democrats can't approve the bill since they must have unanimity in their ranks.
It's unclear whether Senate Democrats will kick off the final steps of the reconciliation process on Thursday, which includes a marathon session of amendment votes known as a "vote-a-rama."
Title: Mitch McConnell rejects that he got 'played' by Manchin and Schumer on their surprise bill
Sourced From: www.businessinsider.com/mitch-mcconnell-manchin-schumer-deal-congress-2022-8
Published Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2022 14:49:35 +0000